wdw sign at interchange

A stroller-pushing, latte-drinking Wind Down Wednesday

*I was given downtown dollars to facilitate this review. All thoughts are my own, based on my experience.

There was distant chatter and a warm breeze. As the night came to a close, trucks pulled up, and the clouds came in purple and blue, looking like rain. After a full day of activities all down Broadway street in Albert Lea, art vendors were carefully placed their work in boxes and bins. People were buying one more drink, and I was taking “just one more picture” with my phone’s camera.

bouncey house

James and Jana watching the kids bounce

downtown Sterling and I had arrived late in the day with the kids after a speed-walk from our apartment. This was the first Wind Down Wednesday of the summer: once a month from 11-8, Albert Lea’s historic downtown comes alive with local art, live music, food, and crafts. It seemed that by time we got there some of the kids activities had ended, things like the pop-up splash pad I had heard about and face-painting, but our two babies under two enjoyed people-watching from the comfort of the stroller.

And at their age, that really is the best way for them to experience Albert Lea.

Being an introvert, I had secretly hoped that the crowd might have died down by 7 pm, but I guess I wasn’t the only one enjoying the beautiful summer evening. The crowd was my community: neighbors, business owners, families, strangers, and friends, and I was fortunate to see a lot of familiar faces.

They knew what I knew: it was the perfect day to be downtown. 

sterling helping with take down

Sterling to the rescue

We stayed until well past 8, giving me time to check out the local art and drink an iced latte from The Interchange. While I relaxed and quietly observed, Sterling (my opposite) talked, talked, and talked even more.

I was already thinking about next time, and how it would be fun to sit down for a meal, listen to live music, and maybe attempt to let James out of the stroller seat for some games– but for

massage sign

My friend’s sign that caught my eye

this first WDW of the year, I savored the time I had to relax.

Sterling stepped in to help someone as the sky darkened around us. I felt grateful, tired, and ready to go home. But before saying goodbyes, I took my chance to sit down for a 5 min chair massage. Of all the things that day, this was by far the best way to wind down on Wind Down Wednesday, and I added that to my running list of what to come back for next month, and hopefully the month after that🙂.


*read about finding my brain again on the  Pelican Breeze Cruise I took earlier that day